NYC 2012 Pre-Kindergarten Admissions Period Begins

Application season for the 2012/2013 school year is in full swing.  Kindergarten admission ended on Friday, and today, the month-long pre-kindergarten session begins.

The NYC Department of Education offers Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) programs for eligible 4 year olds who reside in New York City.  UPK programs

provide a nurturing environment where children’s natural curiosity is used as a springboard to learn skills that are necessary for success in school.  In pre-kindergarten, children learn how to share, take turns and work in groups.  They also develop the skills that form the foundation for reading, writing, and mathematics.

All UPK programs are free of charge.  Programs can be half-day or full-day; half-day programs may take place in the morning or afternoon.  Programs are available at select public schools and at many community-based organizations (CBOs).  CBOs are independent groups that contract with the Department of Education to provide pre-kindergarten programs and other services to families. 


Starting today, March 5, you can submit a pre-k application in person at an Enrollment Office or online.  Applications  deadline for public school programs is Thursday, April 5.  The Pre-Kindergarten Directory is available at your local borough enrollment office and at the DOE  pre-k webpage.

Before you begin the application, review the Pre-K directory  and brochure and become familiar with the Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs in your community.  Take time to gather as much information as possible; visit schools and attend open house events or tours.

New York's Universal Pre-K program facts:

- All universal pre-k programs are free of charge for children born in 2008 who reside in New York City

- Even though all 4 year olds are eligible, a seat in a public universal pre-k program is not guaranteed

- Programs can be half day (two and a half hours, AM/morning or PM/afternoon) or full day (six hours and twenty minutes)

- Programs are housed in public schools or in community based organizations, and each has their own separate application process.  You can find the CBO application directory online here.  To apply, contact each site directly to obtain specific information.

- Admissions are NOT first come first serve.  Placement offers are made based on standardized admission priorities.

- Public school spots are given by lottery.  First preference is given to Zoned students with a verified sibling who will be in grades K-5 in the school in September 2012.  Additional admission priorities are detailed in the Pre-K Brochure.

- Applications available online or at a borough enrollment office only.  Do not apply by mail.  You may apply for a number of schools in one submission and rank those schools by order of preference.

There are information sessions in each borough starting next week.  Representatives from the Office of Student Enrollment and the Office of Early Childhood Education will be available at the sessions to answer your questions.  The sessions are often crowded so be sure to arrive early.

Pre-Kindergarten Information Sessions

All sessions will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

 

Brooklyn

March 12, 2012

Sunset Park High School

153 35th Street

 

Manhattan

March 15, 2012

The High School of Fashion Industries

225 West 24th Street

 

Queens

March 19, 2012

Flushing High School

35-01 Union Street

 

Bronx

March 20, 2012

P.S. 121 Throop

2750 Throop Avenue

 

Staten Island

March 22, 2012

P.S. 69 Daniel D. Tompkins

144 Keating Place

Once your application is complete the waiting begins.  Notifications are not sent out until early June.


Possible DOE Immediate School Bus Strike

School Bus

The NYC Schools Chancellor, Dennis Walcott, sent a letter to parents today alerting them to the strong possibility of an immediate system-wide strike by yellow school bus drivers.  Here is the text of the letter:

November 18, 2011
Dear Parent or Guardian,
We are writing to inform you of the strong possibility of an immediate system-wide, and in our view, illegal, strike by our bus drivers' union—local 1181—that could impact yellow bus service for more than 152,000 students citywide.

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) is issuing a bid to secure new yellow bus contracts to transport special education pre-kindergarten and early intervention ( "pre-school") children to their school programs for the 2012-2013 school year. Our current contracts are set to expire at the end of June 2012 and it is imperative that we move forward now to secure a new contract.

The bus drivers' union has told us that if the bid does not include an Employee Protection Provision—a measure which guarantees their workers civil service-type seniority rights in the event that their current employers do not win the new bid—they will go on strike, system-wide. This would result in severe disruptions, or possibly complete discontinuance, of yellow bus service.

In our view, this would be an illegal strike, and it is all the more unconscionable when you consider that New York State's highest Court recently ruled that we may not include an Employee Protection Provision requirement in our bids. Because the union has told us they will strike, we are immediately filing an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board and asking that it seek an injunction in federal court as quickly as possible.

We are deeply concerned about the impact of a strike on our students and families and we want you to be prepared in the event one occurs.

Any information we have about disruptions to bus service will be posted our website at http://schools.nyc.gov. We urge parents and guardians whose children rely on yellow bus service—for pre-K or K-12 service—to regularly check the website for updates. The information will also be provided to the media and to 311.

In the event that a strike occurs, the following protocols will take effect for families of students who currently receive yellow bus service.

For all students who currently receive yellow bus service from a designated school bus stop to school, we will be issuing Metrocards. Metrocards are being made available at schools and should be requested through the school's general office. We have already informed the Transit Authority that it may need to accommodate additional riders. We also ask families to consider alternative means of transportation to school in case of a disruption.

Parents of pre-school and school-age children with IEPs requiring transportation from their home directly to their school, as well as parents of children in grades K-2, may request a Metrocard for the parent or guardian to act as the child's escort to school.

For pre-school and school-age children who have an IEP requiring transportation from their home directly to their school, we are offering reimbursement for actual transportation costs. Parents who drive their children to school will be reimbursed at a rate of 51 cents per mile. Parents who use a taxi or car service to transport their child to school will be reimbursed for the trip upon completion of reimbursement forms that include a receipt for provided services. Requests for reimbursements should be made one week at a time on forms that will be provided in schools' general offices. The forms will ask you to indicate on which school days alternative transportation was taken and whether it was taken for both the morning and afternoon commute. Reimbursement forms as well as receipts should be sent to the Transportation Reimbursement Unit at 44-36 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101.

Field trips using yellow bus service will be cancelled if there is a bus service disruption. After school programs will remain open, but no busing will be provided.

This is a very difficult situation for the school system and we understand that it may be very upsetting to our students and families. Every parent or guardian must evaluate the needs of his or her child in terms of making the best arrangements to transport the child to school. Students who arrive to school late because of disruptions to yellow bus service will be excused for up to 2 hours. Children who are unable to attend school because of disruptions to yellow bus service will be marked absent with an explanation code that will ensure their attendance record is not negatively impacted.

We regret the possibility of what could be a major disturbance in the lives of students and their families. We continue to hope that the bus driver and escort union will not take such unwarranted action in response to what is the proper, legal course of action for the Department of Education to take on behalf of our students and the City taxpayers.

If you have further questions about this matter, please call our Pupil Transportation Hotline at 718-392-8855 or 311.

Sincerely,

Dennis M. Walcott

Chancellor

Applying to Schools? Then Come to Our School Information and Networking Night

'Tis the Season...the school application season...and everyone is talking about schools -- at the playground, on anonymous online message boards, at the supermarket-- but are you talking to the right people and are you getting the right information?

  • How do you know what the right school is?  What do you really need to know about tours, play dates, thank you notes, lottery schools, testing, etc.?
  • Financial aid for private schools – is it real?

We have done the research for you and have put together a group of parent experts from the schools that you want to attend, who are ready to share their experiences.  Let’s Talk Schools is having a social mixer, to provide parents applying to schools an opportunity to connect with other parents in an informal setting to 'talk schools’ with each other.

Come mix and mingle at our School Information Speed Date Night with parents that will give you the real, unedited scoop on schools and answer your questions live, one-on- one.  Our Parent Experts have knowledge of ongoing schools*, experience of successfully completing the application process and they don’t mind talking about schools all night long!

Come join our conversation.

*Schools represented include the following:-

  • Fieldston Lower / Dalton / Trevor Day / Riverdale Country /
  • Bank Street / Columbia Grammar & Prep / St Hilda’s and St Hughe’s / Spence
  • NEST+m / PS 166 G&T / Hunter /PS 180 /Manhattan School for Children / Ascension
  • New York French-American Charter School / Upper Westside Success Academy
  • Weekday Preschool / Claremont (now MontClare) / Twin Parks Schools – Riverside, Central Park and Park West Montessori
* Final list of schools subject to change

NYC 2011-2012 Public Pre-K Admissions


Starting today, March 7, you can submit a pre-k application by mail or online.  Applications are not considered on a first come first served basis, so take your time – you have until Friday, April 8 to submit an application.  The Pre-Kindergarten Directory and application are available at your local elementary school, borough enrollment office, and at the DOE  pre-k webpage.
Before you begin the application, review the directory and become familiar with the Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs in your community.  Take time to gather as much information as possible.  Visit schools and attend open house events or tours.

Here are a few things to note about New York's Universal Pre-K programs:

- All universal pre-k programs are free of charge for children born in 2007 who reside in New York City

- Even though all 4 year olds are eligible, a seat in a public universal pre-k program is not guaranteed

- The application deadline is Friday, April 8, 2011

- Programs can be half day (two and a half hours, AM/morning or PM/afternoon) or full day (six hours and twenty minutes)

- Programs are housed in public schools or in  community based organizations, and each has their own separate application process.  You can find the CBO application online here.

- Public school spots are given by lottery.  First preference for all universal pre-k programs in public schools is given to siblings of students already registered in a NYC public school.  Additional admission priorities are detailed in the directory.

- Applications available by mail or online.  To apply by mail, you need to get a printed application from this year's pre-k directory, available at all borough enrollment offices. The directory is also available online.  You may apply for a number of schools in one submission and rank those schools by order of preference.

There are information sessions in each borough this week.  Representatives from the Office of Student Enrollment and the Office of Early Childhood Education will be available at the sessions to answer your questions.  Feedback from parents who attended the sessions last year was that all the information you need can be found in the directory or online at the DOE website.  The sessions are often crowded and not well organized, but perhaps there will be improvements this year.


Pre-Kindergarten Information Sessions
All sessions will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Monday, March 7 - Queens
Long Island City High School
14-30 Broadway
Tuesday, March 8 - Bronx
Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus
500 East Fordham Road
Tuesday, March 8 - Brooklyn
Sunset Park High School
153 35th Street
Wednesday, March 9 - Staten Island
New Dorp High School
465 New Dorp Lane
Wednesday, March 9 - Manhattan
Louis D. Brandeis High School
145 West 84th Street

Once your application is complete the waiting begins.  Notifications are not sent out until early June.

Questions?
If you have any questions, please e-mail the Office of Student Enrollment at ES_Enrollment@schools.nyc.gov or call 718-935-2009.